Tennessee judge refuses to stay a ruling recognizing out of state same-sex marriages

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Last week Tennessee Judge Aleta Trauger ruled in favor of three same-sex couples for the state to legally recognize their marriages.

Trauger refused to accept a stay in the ruling following state governor Bill Haslam and Attorney General Robert Cooper’s attempt to appeal. Trauger claimed that recognizing the marriages before appeal is unlikely to harm “because the plaintiffs are likely to succeed,” whereas “harms to the plaintiffs from continued enforcement of the Anti-Recognition Laws would be substantial and irreparable.”

She was also quick to note that legally recognizing those three marriages only does not open the “floodgates for same-sex couples to marry in Tennessee.”

However, a spokesperson for Cooper, Sharon Curtis-Flair, stated that they “intend to take all necessary steps to defend the law.”

The three same-sex couples, all of whom had moved to Tennessee after having legally married in other states, filed a lawsuit in October 2013.

On Friday, March 14, Tauger ruled that Tennessee must recognize their out-of-state marriages, because maintaining the ban violates the federal Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process, as well as the constitutionally protected right to travel between and move to other states.

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